Political unrest in the Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal, which had brought public life to a standstill in recent weeks, created problems for the work of staff members at SOS Children's Villages' national office in the capital Kathmandu. Staff members, who rely on public transport, were not able to go to work for days; curfews were also imposed for short periods of time. Now that the situation has generally stabilised, SOS Children's Villages can also return to work as normal with its activities at its facilities in Nepal.
All SOS Hermann Gmeiner Schools were forced to close for 19 days from 4 April as a result of the political tensions, said the director of SOS Children's Villages Nepal, Shankar Pradhananga. Pokhara and Surkhet were particularly affected.
There are a total of eight SOS Children's Villages in Nepal, as well as 26 other social, educational and vocational facilities. These include a number of social programmes that mainly provide care for widows and their children. In most cases, the issues that the women face in their lives can be directly linked to the long-lasting conflict in Nepal. SOS Children's Villages mainly provides education and training; food is also given in particularly serious cases.
According to Shankar Pradhananga, education is the main sector that is significantly affected by the ongoing instability in Nepal, as is the general well-being of children. Young people are very frustrated; most of them want to try their luck abroad.
Around 3,500 children are part of the SOS Social Programmes in Nepal - nurseries, medical care, workshops for mothers and community-based assistance are all on offer.